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Smith, Edmond H. f Mrs. 

The centennial history of Firs 
Presbyterian Church, Hickory, 


1 ■ 


"7^e &e*tte*uUal 'ZfUtoty 0^ 

First Presbyterian Church 
Hickory, N. C. 

1873 - 1973 

The Centennial History Of 

Hickory, N. C. 


Mrs. Edmond H. Smith, Jr. 

Mr. Gerald B. Hurst 



Hickory's FIRST Presbyterian church officially began 100 years ago, 
March 18, 1873, as "Gibb's Mission", with just 15 charter members. At the 
beginning of 1973, the active membership of First Presbyterian Church of 
Hickory totaled 867, and three additional Hickory-area Presbyterian churches 
spawned by this church had a combined membership of 471 . 

Who were some of the people and what were some of the events involved 
in the growth and changes in this church in its first century? After 
considerable research, this Centennial History has been prepared to give the 
present membership of this church the facts, plus a deeper understanding and 
appreciation of our heritage, as our church begins its second century. 

Extensive use has been made of two previous histories of this church, both 
written by men who had served as Clerk of the Session for many years. One 
was Dr. William Beall Ramsay, * who prepared a history for the church's 50th 
anniversary in 1923. The second was Josiah J. Willard, whose "Historical 
Sketch" was published in 1949, in observance of the completion of the 
remodeling of the Sanctuary building. 

Other sources for information used in writing this Centennial History 
included: a history of the Women of our Church, prepared in 1962 by Mrs. 
Ava Robinson Lipe; "Sixty Years of Home Missions of the Presbyterian 
Synod of North Carolina," written by a former pastor of this church, the 
Rev. John G. Garth; the archives of this church and of the Presbyterian 
Historical Society at Montreat. 

In order to add some human interest to facts, comments were requested 
from the "daughters and sons" of this congregation who have gone into some 
type of church work; and "reminiscences" were secured from the eight 
members of this church who have held membership continuously for more 
than 60 years: Miss Rosa Lee Dixon, Connolly Gamble, Sr., Mrs. Raymond 
Hefner, William W. McComb, Mr. and Mrs. C. Voorhees Garth, Miss Millie 
Kate McComb, and Donald S. Menzies. 

The chapters that follow will give you an opportunity to share in the early 
life, the growth, and the outreach of this church and its organizations, and to 
feel some of the influence of the various ministers who helped to inspire and 
guide this church in its first 100 years. 

It is regretted that time and space would allow mention of only a relative 
few of the hundreds of members who have served this church so faithfully in 
so many ways through the years. Those named just happened to be involved 
in the facts or human interest items that compose this history. 

It is our hope that you will find this book interesting and informative and 
worth preserving for future reference. 

*Grandfather of Mrs. Shuford Abernethy, Mrs. Guy Gregg, and W. R. Hall of our present 

CHAPTER I (1873-1891 


One hundred years ago, North Carolina was struggling to meet the 
demands and excesses of Reconstruction. Money was scarce, prices were high 
and an attitude of demoralization and greed prevailed throughout the South. 
Yet despite the dark clouds which hung heavy over our state and her southern 
sisters, the light of the Christian spirit burned steady. As the state attempted 
to reorganize its governmental structure, the Presbyterian Synod of North 
Carolina was going about the business of reviving the Lord's work. 
Recognizing the temper of the times, the synod focused its attention upon 
Christian families, calling upon them "to look to their children and to teach 
them the fear of God and obedience to lawful authority." Following up on its 
appeal to families, synod next turned its attention to all people, calling them 
"to prayer and to arise and rebuild the waste places, and urging them to the 
support of evangelists and missionaries." Although it was synod that was 
pricking the consciences of North Carolina Presbyterians, it was on the level 
of presbytery that the responsibility for mission and evangelization was 

It was in the fulfillment of this responsibility that: 

"after due consideration, Presbytery, meeting at Bethpage Church, appointed the 
Reverend W. A. Wood and the Reverend G. M. Gibbs as a committee to visit the 
village of Hickory at their earliest convenience and, if way be clear, to organize a 

The planting of the seed of Presbyterianism at Hickory Station came as a 
direct result of Concord Presbytery's push to evangelize its western areas. The 
men they sent to set up and organize this church were ordained evangelists, 
able to perform their roles as ministers of the gospel without the customary 
support of a session. They were ordained agents of presbytery, hardy and 
dedicated men who were willing and able to bring the gospel message to the 
outpost regions of western North Carolina. It was at the April, 1873 meeting 
of Concord Presbytery at Third Creek Church that the Reverend Mr. Wood 
rendered the following report: 

"The committee appointed to organize a church at Hickory Station reported that 
on the 18th of March last, they organized a church at Hickory Station, Catawba 
County, of 15 members, and ordained two elders, and installed three (one of 
them having been ordained) in said church, and recommended that the name of 
the church be 'Gibb's Mission'." 

At that first organizational meeting, held in the Methodist church, the 
following names were received into membership of Gibbs Mission 
Presbyterian Church: Mrs. M. C. Baird, Rock Hill, S. C; Mrs. J. R. Bell, 
Lincolnton; Mrs. G. M. Gibbs, Miss C. S. Gibbs, Mr. R. W. Gibbs and Miss 
Anna T. Gibbs, Mocksville; Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Hussey, Newton; Mrs. Caroline 
Bost, Newton; Mr. J. G. Hall, Wilkesborough; and Dr. and Mrs. B. F. Terry, 

Hampden-Sidney, Virginia 1 . The Reverend G. M. Gibbs, at 66 years of age, 
became the first minister. 

The year following its organization, the Hickory church reported to 
presbytery an increase in total communicants to 23 and that the salary 
actually paid to the Reverend Mr. Gibbs to date totalled $1 12.00. 2 

It seems noteworthy, drawing from an earlier history, to point out the 
earliest representation our church elected to its various courts: 

"Doctor Terry was the first representative to Presbytery (meeting at Third Creek) 
and to Synod (meeting at Wilmington). Doctor Terry, Mr. J. G. Hall, Mr. J. B. 
Hussey were the first elders, while Mr. Seagle and Mr. Johnson were the first 
deacons. . ." 

The rapid growth of our state and our country during and following the 
Reconstruction era was too fast-paced for the seminaries to meet the demand 
for parish ministers and evangelists. This necessitated not only the evangelical 
skills of Mr. Gibbs elsewhere in the synod, but also a joint sharing of our first 
regular pastor with churches in Taylorsville and Wilkesborough. 

There is a discrepancy between this list of members and the number of total members 
which appears in previous histories and in the first statistical report to presbytery. No 
reason for this discrepancy has been turned up to date. 

This is a correction of Mr. Willard's earlier account that the first report to presbytery 
was in April of 1876. 



The year 1878 was an important one in the early history of our church. It 
was a year that the young church began to extend its roots and assume some 
of the strength of permanence. The church had extended a call to the 
Reverend Thomas G. Thurston, a resident at that time of Taylorsville, for 
one-third of his time. He accepted the call one year later at a salary recorded 
to be $250.00 annually. That year of 1878 also marked the changing of the 
name from Gibbs' Mission to Hickory church. And toward the close of that 
year, the church's first building was completed and dedicated. This first 
building stood on a lot bought from a Mr. Henry W. Robinson for Si 00.00. 
That lot is now the N. W. corner of S. Center Street at Main Avenue Place. 
The total cost of the building and lot was only $1,769.23. As the phrase goes, 
it was a VERY good year for the Presbyterians of Hickory. 

Two of the events most remembered about the early churches were the 
first baptism and the first wedding. Mr. William Alexander Hall, son of Mr. 
and Mrs. J. G. Hall, was the first infant baptized in the old church, the 
sacrament being administered in November 1874. The son and grandson of 
Mr. William A. Hall are presently members of our congregation, with the 
distinction of being the only current members who can trace their lineage 
back to a charter member of the original Gibbs' Mission church? The first 
wedding to be celebrated in the new structure was that of Miss Betty 
Hamilton to Mr. William H. Sprunt of Wilmington, North Carolina. The 
ceremony took place on December 22, 1881, the bride being the daughter of 
Ruling Elder and Mrs. H. C. Hamilton. 

Up to the time the first structure was completed, the early congregation 
worshiped in the first building of the old Reformed church (now Corinth 
United Church of Christ). Later, the Episcopalians and a Lutheran 
congregation were given use of the Presbyterian building. As Mr. Willard puts 

"one of the outstanding features in the life of this church has been the delightful 
fraternal relations that have been enjoyed by our people with other 
denominations in the community." 

The Reverend Mr. Thurston was a man who represented many of the 
dimensions inherent within the Presbyterian church. The son of the first 
missionary to the Hawaiian Islands, he was educated at Yale and at Union 
Theological Seminary in New York. He was also a teacher and an ordained 
evangelist when called by the Hickory Presbyterian Church. Mr. Thurston 
enjoyed a gracious ministry in this church. As stated in our sessional records: 

"His was a life of good works. Gifted with intellectual powers not often found, 
even in the Christian ministry, with a heart full of love for God ... he spent all 
that we might be saved, and that others might be brought to Jesus." 

It was with a sense of profound sadness that the congregation buried the 


The descendants of William A. Hall are Rufus D. and Roger Hall. 

Reverend Mr. Thurston and his daughter, Alice, after they were drowned 
attempting to ford the Catawba River en route to Taylorsville in March of 
1884. Some of the oldest documents of our church reflect the mourning of 
this beloved pastor. 


]0tA. (y-nad. 0?. (y/iaidwn 


<AT THE 5= 




Church ji)i 


.A.* 3 O'Clooli. 

Revs, Drs, Anderson and Wood and Rev, Mr, Winn are in Attendance, 


February 26th, 1884. 


The pastor succeeding Mr. Thurston was Dr. Colin A. Munroe. He was 
called for one-half of his time, a division of labor which the church worked 
out with the Presbyterian church in Lenoir. His salary was to be $400.00 
annually. Reverend Munroe has the honor of being our first minister to 
publish a book. While a member of Concord Presbytery, he authored 

During Doctor Munroe's years as pastor of this church, both synod and 
presbytery were emphasizing the great need for improvement in family 
worship and a stronger emphasis within the congregation on Biblical 
instruction and Christian mission. One of the results of this denominational 
push was the formation of the Women's Home and Foreign Missionary 
Society, an organization about which you will read in a later chapter. 

Throughout the decade of the 1880's, the Presbyterian Synod of North 
Carolina experienced considerable growth, an expansion due in large measure 
to the devoted efforts of evangelists operating through the six presbyteries of 
synod. The Hickory Presbyterian Church experienced a parallel growth during 
these years under the dedicated, albeit part-time ministries of pastors 
Thurston and Munroe. At the annual meeting of synod in 1891, the year Dr. 

Munroe left this church to assume full-time responsibility for the church in 
Lenoir, the Address to the Churches on the State of Religion contained the 
following paragraph: 

"Surely it is unusual for the Synod to receive from the Presbyteries, and through 
them from the churches, so much that is cheering, with so little that is 
disheartening. Usually our pathway through the year is marked by alternations of 
light and shade in something like equal proportions. But through the past year the 
sunshine has rested on our way in long, bright stretches, while the shadows have 
been mere flecks. Our Divine Master has smiled upon all four seasons, and each 
has yielded a rich harvest to the praise of the glory of His grace. . .The Synod, 
therefore, calls upon all its churches to gird themselves for fresh labors, and to 
address themselves with intensified earnestness and zeal to the glorious work of 
bringing the world to Christ." 

As we read this tribute and challenge to the churches, our own included, we 
may recall the manner in which our church was organized. Our first century 
started because of an earnest desire to evangelize the remote areas of our 
state. As we stand on the threshold of our second century, the final line in 
the synodical minutes of "bringing the world to Christ" echoes the modern 
challenge to our Church of calling our continent to Christ. 

CHAPTER II (1891-1927) 


With around 100 members, the church progressed to securing its first 
full-time pastor June 5, 1891. He was the Rev. J. Alston Ramsay, D. D., 
grandfather of one of our present members, Mrs. Ervin Williams. Although 
Dr. Ramsay's annual salary was only $900, the church could afford his 
exclusive attention for just three years. As related in our 1923 Church 

"The church was greatly crippled financially. . .(during the nationwide financial 
panic of 1894). . .and had to surrender a part of the pastor's time. The Newton 
church called our pastor for one-fourth of his time. This relation continued 
throughout the remainder of his pastorate." 


As Mr. Willard related in his Historical Sketch: 

"Once there was due the pastor $56.50 on his salary. The deacons were instructed 
to 'collect the money and pay the debt.' And the record continues, 'If not, let the 
officers come to the next meeting prepared to pay it themselves.' Evidently , the 
brethren were successful. . .as nothing further on the subject was recorded. 

"Again, one of the brethren was appointed to engage the services of an organist, 
but was not given authority to mention a stipend. In an unguarded moment, and 
perhaps out of the goodness of his heart, he promised the lady $7.50 a quarter 
($2.50 a month) and reported it to the Session. After much discussion (and no 
doubt with some perspiration and red faces) his action was confirmed and the 
contract was carried out in a graceful manner." 

A significant event during Dr. Ramsay's ministry was the purchase of the 
first manse. It was located on First Avenue Northwest, next to the present 
First Baptist Church Educational Building. The Earnest Workers, a group of 
the church women organized about 1887, are credited with having purchased 
and largely paid for the manse. 

Connolly Gamble, member here since 1902, recalls going often to the 
manse, located near his home. He lay on the floor of the pastor's study, 
reading the books there. He says their relationship was so close that the 
preacher's worn-out pants were cut down by Mrs. Gamble to make pants for 
little Connolly. 

A noteworthy date in Dr. Ramsay's pastorate was September 21, 1891. 
That's when the Woman's Missionary Society was organized to study and 
support Home Missions and Foreign Missions. According to our 1923 Church 
History, the pastor had to serve as the Society's first president because "the 
women were so possessed by the idea that women should keep silent in public 
that none was willing to assume leadership." 

Sy nodical Home Missions had begun in 1888, one yeai before Dr. Ramsay 
was elected stated clerk of Concord Presbytery, a position he held for 13 
years. Apparently he felt the cause of Home Missions keenly, for minutes of 
the Missionary Society describe his giving "stirring" programs on the subject. 
The cause of Foreign Missions took on a new meaning for the church when, 
in 1897, one of the W. M. S. members, Dr. Mattie Ingold Tate, went as a 
medical missionary to Korea. 

Miss Rosa Lee Dixon, member of this church since 1900, was a child in 
the congregation during Dr. Ramsay's pastorate. Her recollection is that 
young people were "supposed to attend two church services, besides Sunday 
School," and prayer meeting on Wednesday night; and that the only attention 
they received was at Christmas and at the annual picnic in the summer. Here 
is how she remembers one Christmas: 

"Plans were made to build a chimney on the pulpit stand, with stiff paper bricks, 
red in color. Our treat, in the form of 'store-bought' candy, was contained in 
these (brick) boxes. . .We had practiced a number of Christmas songs. Santa Claus, 
impersonated by Mr. Ingold, Mrs. Joy's brother, arrived. All of us were eager for 
the expected delicious bricks. Alas! The candy was so stale that we could not eat 
it. That left us with no hope for any notice until the following summer when we 
had the annual Sunday School picnic at Catawba Springs. . .(and) never did I learn 

to enjoy that ride of about eight miles on a rough farm wagon with only hay to sit 

Attention to children was exhibited very tangibly in the North Carolina 
Synod during Dr. Ramsay's ministry. Barium Springs Orphanage opened in 
January 1891, with 28 children. In 1896, our women began sending 
Christmas cakes to Barium, a practice which has become an annual tradition 
for our Women of the Church. 

Something of the loss felt by the congregation when Dr. Ramsay died 
January 11, 1900, is shown by a resolution recorded in the Minute Book of 
the Woman's Missionary Society. One section reads: 

"His faith was a living faith, shining out in his everyday life in deeds and 
character. . .endearing himself to the hearts of his people and making him 
esteemed in the whole community." 


Three months after Dr. Ramsay's death, the Rev. W. T. Matthews became 
pastor of both the Hickory and Newton churches. 

A fine memory of the Rev. Mr. Matthews is held by the Rev. James 
Woodrow Hassell, a son of our congregation. 

"I know that when a preacher's sermon is remembered for a week, he is gratified. 
But although it has been more than seventy years, I recall vividly one of Mr. 
Matthews' sermons-the text and the message. The words of the text are: 'I shall 
be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness'." 

Mr. Hassell also recalled: "My early connection with Hickory First Presbyterian 
Church was all too brief, but was of the most pleasant and profitable character. I 
was a lad of only sixteen, and the year was 1902. . .Everybody was content to sit 
on rather rude, hard benches, while the building was heated by a large round stove 
located in the center. . .The congregation was small but the spirit was friendly and 

Mr. Hassell spent many years as a missionary to Japan; in recent years, he 
has enjoyed a busy "retirement" in Hickory. 

It was during the Rev. Mr. Matthews' pastorate that the lot on which our 
present Sanctuary stands was purchased for $950, and plans were completed 
for erecting the new church. 

Miss Rosa Lee Dixon recalls why it became necessary to change the 
location of the church. The first church was built near the railroad, and when 
the number of trains was increased, "our ministers could not cope with the 
increased noise." 

The proximity of the railroad tracks to the little church is very vividly 
recalled by Donald S. Menzies (who joined the church in 1911). He 
remembers getting a "licking" from his father, K. C. Menzies, who had seen 
Donald hitch a ride on a slow-moving freight train from a crossing not too far 
from his house to the crossing near the church. Donald recalls that one of his 
first church jobs was hand-setting the type for the bulletins. 

Miss Millie Kate McComb (member since 1908) remembers the Christmas 

"exercises" as the highlight of the year in her childhood in the little white 
church. A tree with lighted candles was erected, and the children gave a 
program of songs which they had long practiced. The boys and girls took to 
church bags of fruit and candy to be sent to the orphans at Barium Springs. 
Mr. Matthews resigned September 4, 1903, to accept a call to a church in 
Durant, Oklahoma. 

THE REVEREND C. W. TRA WICK (1904-1907) 

It was during the pastorate of the Rev. C. W. Trawick that our present 
Sanctuary building was erected and dedicated. 

He came to the church March 6, 1904, full-time, since the congregation 
was once again able to pay a salary of $900 a year. The good financial 
condition of the church is also indicated by the following from the Session 

"Our new church having been completed and paid for was dedicated to 
the worship of Almighty God on December 2, 1906. At the dedication the 
building committee reported the cost of erecting and furnishing the church 
totaled $14,060." 

.-.■ •• 

William (Bill) W. McComb (member since 1906) remembers that he and a 
cousin, Frank McComb, used a horse and wagon to help move some benches 
and the bell from the white church to the new church. Our present Sanctuary 
bell is the original church bell. 

Among the items moved to the new church was the small organ. Several of 


our longest-affiliated members associate this organ primarily with an early 
organist, Miss Lois Seagle, noted for being "full of fun" as well as for being a 
fine musician. 

Miss McComb recalls that Miss Seagle delighted in slyly winking at the 
girls in the congregation at the little white church. This would start the girls 
to giggling; and, in the case of the McComb girls, the punishment from their 
father was to deny them dessert for Sunday dinner. As her brother, Bill 
McComb, expressed it: "Older church members were very austere people 
back then." 

Connolly Gamble, choir member for some 65 years, to the present, also 
vividly recalls that early organ and Miss Seagle. As a young boy, it was his 
duty to pump the organ, which sat near the pulpit and put him, and his habit 
of falling asleep during the sermon, in full view of the congregation. In those 
early days, according to Mr. Gamble, every choir member had to be approved 
by the Session, who, he jokingly states, were more interested in whether the 
prospective members "had sinned" than whether they could sing! In fact, an 
elder came to each choir practice, often nodding near the pot-bellied stove 
and being startled awake by some "organ antics" of Miss Seagle! 

Less than a year after the new church was dedicated, the Rev. Mr. Trawick 
had to resign because of ill health. During the last four months of his 
pastorate, the Rev. C. W. Squires served as supply pastor. The Rev. J. M. 
Wharey, D. D., supplied from September, 1907, when the Rev. Mr. Trawick 
left, until May, 1908. 


The second longest pastorate (over ten years) in our church's history was 
that of the Rev. John G. Garth. He was the father of C. Voorhees Garth, who 
joined this church when his father came here July 27, 1908, and has held 
membership and many responsibilities ever since . 

A few months before the Rev. Mr. Garth began his work here, a 
committee had been appointed to sell the old manse and to build a new one 
on the Third Avenue lot adjoining the Sanctuary lot. (Later the "new" manse 
was moved one lot west to make room for our first educational building. 
After many years of use as the manse, it became the present "Manster".) 

While the new manse was under construction, the Garths lived temporarily 
in the house now occupied by the W. W. McComb family. Miss Millie Kate 
McComb recalls an occasion when the new minister took his own three 
children and the four McComb children to the circus. As the group walked 
the long distance to the circus grounds, other Presbyterian children joined 
them. As she described it: "By the time we got there, we had our own 
circus." Miss McComb said this was typical of the Garths, who later shared 
the new manse with young people from the congregation, particularly for fun 
gatherings on Saturday nights. 

The Rev. Mr. Garth was called at an annual salary of $1 ,000. When he left 
over ten years later, it has been increased three times to $1,500. Voorhees 
Garth recalls that, to make ends meet, the preacher's family had a cow, 
chickens, and a garden back of the manse; and that the occasional 


"poundings"* by the congregation helped greatly. Voorhees and his brother, 
Robert, performed many "free" church services, including printing the 
church bulletins on a hand press, mowing and raking the church lawn 
property, and pumping the organ. 

The organ-pumping duties ended in 1910 when the congregation voted to 
purchase an Estey pipe organ for $2,000. That organ was used for the next 56 
years. The records show that a communion set was purchased in 1910 for 

Voorhees Garth met his future wife through the church. As Greta Wezen, 
she joined with her parents in 1911. Recalling her youth in First church, Mrs. 
Garth remembered how much the young people enjoyed Friday night 
"socials" as well as the Christian Endeavor, started by the Rev. Mr. Garth and 
held on Sunday nights before evening church services. 

Mrs. Raymond Hefner, a member continuously since 1905, especially 
enjoyed the mid-week prayer meeting during Mr. Garth's years here. "It was 
such a friendly, homey time, with people lingering to talk." Her other many 
pleasant memories of those days include such property improvements as the 
paving of the streets around the church corner and the planting of the large 
maple trees on the Third Avenue side, "given to the church by George Killian, 

Our church was hostess to the North Carolina Synod in 1914. Later, in his 

*For any too young to know the meaning of "pounding", it was actually a 
"pantry shower", when members surprised the "preacher" and his family with 
gifts of all kinds of food. 

Gathered at the front of the manse built in 1908 are the Rev. J. G. Garth and 


book on the history of Presbyterian Home Missions in the state, the Rev. Mr. 
Garth reported on at least one important happening at that gathering: 

"The movement was started to organize a new Synod to be known as Appalachia 
Synod, which should consist of the Presbyteries on the borders of Western North 
Carolina and East Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky, and Western West Virginia. This 
meant, of course, that the Synod of North Carolina must contribute to the 
Presbytery of Asheville, and parts of Concord and Kings Mountain. A warm 
discussion followed. . .but finally the Synod voted for the separation 104 to 17." 

Another foreign missionary went out from the church during Mr. Garth's 
pastorate. She was Mrs. Louise Dixon Crane, sister of Miss Rosa Lee Dixon. 
Mrs. Crane went with her husband to Africa in 1912. Not many years later, 
another "daughter of the church", Miss Ruby Satterfield, became our 
church's fourth foreign missionary, when she began work in China. 

World War One was the event that brought the resignation of Mr. Garth 
from the ministry of this church. He hoped to participate in Y. M. C. A. work 
overseas in the war that had seen thirty young men from this congregation 
enlist for service. However, a traffic accident in Charlotte during Mr. Garth's 
time at Camp Greene resulted in long hospitalization and prevented his going 
overseas. Later he served as editor of the "Presbyterian Standard", did 
religious writing, and served well his Presbytery and Synod. 


The growth of First Church was accelerated during the next pastorate, 
that of the Rev. Edward Marshall Craig, D. D. He began his work May 25, 
1919, at a salary of $2,100, later increased to $2,700. In his Historical 
Sketch, J.J. Willard wrote: 

"During his pastorate 246 new members were received, and the church 
showed growth in all departments." By 1923, membership had reached 355 
and Sunday School enrollment 326. 

Among those who joined the church was Glenn O. Yount. (He retired in 
recent years from a long Presbyterian ministry and is now living in 
Huttonsville, West Virginia.) The Rev. Mr. Yount, Th.D-H.R., has described 
the congregation as: 

"a group of the finest Christian men and women I have ever known. . .1 returned 
from World War One and united with the First Presbyterian Church. They found a 
place for me in the church and Sunday School, and their interest in me did not 
cease when I sold my home to return to school. The Elders (I was a deacon) of 
the First Church sent me money every year while I was in Seminary. . .1 was 
always proud of my church. . .of wonderful and lovely people." 

Others going into full-time church service from this congregation before 
1925 included: The Rev. Bonnar Knox, Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Ramseur in 
Home Missions, and Miss Grace C. Henderson in Christian Education. 

Looking back over his many years in our church choir, Connolly Gamble 
recalled that it was Dr. Craig who dismissed the choir for some time, with no 
explanation. The pastor announced one Sunday that, beginning the next 
Sunday, there would be no choir. Instead, there would be "congregational 


singing, led by various choir members." As Mr. Gamble expressed it, "We 
were fired!" This lasted several months before the choir was reorganized. 

Dr. Craig resigned his pastorate December 1, 1925, to accept a 
secretaryship in Appalachia Synod. 

For the next fourteen months, the church was without a regular pastor. A 
retired minister, the Rev. George F. Robertson, was engaged as supply pastor 
for this period. 

CHAPTER Mi (1927-1952) 


The longest pastorate in the history of First Church was held by the Rev. 
John Richards Hay, D. D. He served for over 25 years, from February 1, 
1927, to September 1,1952. 


Some indication of the steady progress of the church during those years is 
contained in the annual statistical reports to Presbytery. When Dr. Hay began 
his pastorate here in 1927, there were 372 members. Over 950 members were 
added to the rolls from 1927 to 1952; however, dismissals, primarily because 
of families moving elsewhere, dropped the net gain to 169, giving the church 
a membership of 541 in 1952. In 1927, the total church collections 
amounted to $10,230. Twenty-five years later the total was $36,710. During 
those years the amount given to "benevolences" was usually almost equal to 
"current expenses." Dr. Hay's salary rose during his pastorate from $3,300 to 

The first addition to the church's facilities in twenty years was a 
three-story Educational Building. This was erected in 1928 on Third Avenue, 
just west of the church, at a cost of around $28,000. Sunday School classes 
and other groups now had a place to meet other than in some part of the 
Sanctuary building. Twenty -one years later, in 1949, came the fulfillment of 
another of Dr. Hay's dreams-remodeling of the Sanctuary building for the 
first time since its construction in 1906. The old Sunday School section with 
its folding doors was transformed into a beautiful elevated area for the altar, 
choirs, organ, pulpit and lectern. The congregational seating, formerly in 
three divisions with four aisles and facing the old pulpit area in the southwest 
corner, was changed to two rows of new pews with center aisle facing west. 
The remodeling and refurnishing of the Sanctuary cost about $85,000. Many 
memorial gifts were presented by families in honor of former members. 

Two years later, the Nowell property just south of the church was 
purchased for $23,500 for future expansion. 

The church's program during Dr. Hay's years was expanded in many ways, 
including the establishment of a Church Council, Ministry of Music and 
full-time Director of Religious Education. The Men's Club was organized, and 
the work of the Boy Scouts received special attention. The rotation plan for 
ruling elders and deacons was adopted in 1947. 

The first serious outpost work of the church was begun in 1943. Dr. Hay 
and a group of members, principally Hiram Balch and the Connolly Gamble 
family, began work in the Sweetwater community on October 29. Six months 
later the pastor and members of the J. O. Y. Sunday School Class began 
outpost work in the Sub-Station community, on April 30, 1944. By the 
summer of 1945, the work had grown to the point where First Church 
retained a full-time Director of Christian Education, Miss Kathleen Scott, 
who also directed the outpost work. Both Sweetwater and Belk Memorial 
Churches were organized in early 1946. In addition to his work at First 
Church, Dr. Hay preached and attended Sunday School at the outpost 
churches each Sunday afternoon or evening from 1944 until they called a 
pastor in June, 1947. 

When Dr. Hay had been at First Church 1 1 years, E. P. Tuttle was elected 
treasurer--a position which he and/or his wife held until the illness of both 
brought their resignations 21 years later. One of the Tuttle daughters, Mrs. 
Robert McCampbell of our congregation, has recalled that for many of those 
years the Tuttles did not even have an adding machine. Often the Tuttle 
children helped by adding up columns of figures read to them by their father. 

Four "sons" of the congregation went into the ministry during Mr. Hay's 


years here. These were: the Hay's oldest son, Edward Craig; Connolly 
Gamble, Jr.; and two sons of Mrs. Louise Dixon Crane. Like most of the 
Crane children, Henry and Sidney spent much time in Hickory with their 
Dixon aunts during their school years. Henry followed in his parents' 
footsteps in becoming a missionary to the Congo; this service was cut short 
by his death. Dr. Sidney Crane served for some time as a minister but is now 
in other work in Reston, Virginia. 

Dr. Connolly Gamble, Jr., Union Theological Seminary professor, had a 
very close relationship with the Hay family in growing up in this church 
where his grandmother, Mrs. Carrie Gamble, was an early member, and his 
parents have given so many years of service. Reflecting on what First Church 
has meant to him, Connolly wrote, in part: 

"Edward Hay and I were one day apart in age; and as we were good friends, I 
spent many hours with him and the Hays in the Manse, so that the family of the 
minister became a comfortable fellowship for me from early years. Dr. Hay's 
interest in youth stands out in my memories. I recall a camping trip to Myrtle 
Beach where he took some of us, sleeping on the sand beneath a cottage. 

"The dominant impression from my youth in First Church is the extraordinary 
interest that many adults took in the young people of that age-as I recall my 
father leading new songs in Vacation Bible School, and Brooks Todd's leadership 
of Troop 2 of the Boy Scouts, and Misses Fannie and Rosa Lee Dixon and Mrs. 
George Bailey's work with our Sunday School classes. First Church lent the third 
floor of the Educational Building to the first Boys' club of Hickory, which 
'Pinkie' James organized about 1933, I think. This kind of solid investment that 
so many competent and mature people put into the. cultivation of adolescents 
stands out as an enduring appreciation when I recall my early years in First 

Of the Hay's three sons, two are now in full-time church work and the 
third is a physician. The oldest, the Rev. Edward C. Hay, minister at First 
Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama, recently reminisced as follows 
about his years in Hickory: 

"I suppose that all of us have those places, people, and experiences to which we 
turn back again and again with a kind of spiritual nostalgia. The church in 
Hickory is the focal -point of my spiritual nostalgia, for so much of my religious 
consciousness and my body of convictions were shaped by, and within, that 
congregation. I was five years old when we moved into the manse in 1927; and it 
was before that congregation that I publicly professed my faith in Jesus Christ, it 
was with the blessing of that congregation that I became a candidate for the 
ministry, and it was from that congregation's membership roll I was dismissed to 
the Presbytery by which I was ordained to the ministry. 

"Though the last time I worshipped as a part of that congregation was over 
twenty years ago at the dedication of the remodeled Sanctuary, its influence is 
still a lively and potent force in my consciousness. I am grateful to the First 
Presbyterian Church of Hickory for what it has contributed to my faith and life, 
and for showing me something of what it means to be the Church of Jesus 

In spite of having battled serious illness several times in recent years, the 


youngest Hay son, John R. Hay, Jr., is assistant to the Minister of First 
Presbyterian Church in Kingsport, Tennessee. He has expressed his feelings 
about our Hickory church this way: 

"It is not easy to describe what First Presbyterian in Hickory has meant to me. 
One reason, I suppose, is that it is difficult to separate church and home in my 
mind because they were so closely related through all those years. But that is how 
it should be, of course. 

"Whatever the things are that point one to faith in Christ and help him grow 
toward maturity, they were all present in one way or another. I am profoundly 
grateful that God put me in that place. There was worship, instruction, 
fellowship, and an attitude of love and acceptance which enables a person to 
move toward finding a faith of his own on which to build his life. Looking back 
now, I can see more clearly how God used the persons and events of those years 
in preparing me for decisions which were to be made later on. 

"But what First Church means to me is not all back there in the past. It is still 
very real. You can't imagine how much Elizabeth Ann, the boys, and I have felt 
your support during these years of illness. You have helped us know in a 
profound way the meaning of Christian community." 

All three Hay sons were young men when Dr. Hay submitted his 
resignation in July, 1952, effective at the end of August. He later served as 
pastor of the Ahoskie Presbyterian Church. 

CHAPTER IV (1952-1973) 


After seven months without a pastor and with a regular supply only a 
small portion of that time, the congregation welcomed their new minister, the 
Rev. Fred Rogers Stair, Jr., on April 1, 1953. 

Within two years Sunday School enrollment jumped sixty per cent and 
church membership increased to 644. The need for additional Sunday School 
space became especially acute. Several Hickory churches were moving away 
from the business district, but First Presbyterian chose to remain downtown, 
to provide continued and expanded services to "The Heart of Hickory." 


So, a campaign was launched to raise funds for a new Education building 
for the children and youth, and to remodel Fellowship Hall and add a new 
kitchen in the older Education building. Property of the M. V. Yount estate, 
adjacent to the Nowell property acquired in 1951, was purchased to provide 
space for the new building and for additional parking. A service of 
Thanksgiving on Sunday, November 24, 1957, marked the opening of the 
completed building. The total cost of new construction and remodeling was 
approximately $225,000. 

It was also in 1957 that the church purchased, for future use, the W. H. 
Ballew property just west of the manse lot. The cost was $18,750. Three 
years earlier a new church facility was begun, the church library. In 1960, this 
was to become the Elizabeth Williams Hollar Memorial Library, with new 
decoration, equipment, and additional books. 

A church administrative office was set up with a full-time secretary, and a 
church hostess was added. Other innovations included the Ushers Guild, a 
Contract group of men interested in evangelism, and a week-day kindergarten 
for five-year-olds. 

With stress on tithing and increased giving to benevolent causes, the church 
began furnishing half the support of the Rev. and Mrs. Lamar Williamson, 
missionaries to the Belgian Congo, Africa. 

The field of Christian Education received special emphasis during Mr. 
Stair's years at First Church. Leadership training and rotation were begun for 
Sunday School teachers and workers. In 1958 this church was selected by the 
Presbyterian U. S. Board of Christian Education to be one of five churches, 
out of more than 4,000, for research and experimentation with the new 
"Covenant Life" church school curriculum being written for the whole 
denomination. Vocational guidance was begun for senior high school students 


in the congregation. In 1957 the church co-sponsored, with First Methodist 
Church, the first of a series of Family Life conferences. 

Conscious of its location in "The Heart of Hickory", the church became 
the springboard for many community -service programs later taken over by 
other groups. These included the Empty Stocking Fund, Senior Citizens Club, 
Family Guidance, study of inadequate housing for financially-deprived 
citizens, and special education for handicapped children. 

In the summer of 1958 the congregation had a unique experience when 
the Stairs exchanged pulpits and manses with the Rev. and Mrs. J. A. Ross 
McKenzie of Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Among the congregation's youth deciding on church vocations during Mr. 
Stair's years was Betty Burgess, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Burgess and 
granddaughter of early members of this church, Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Doll. Now 
Mrs. Sidney Frazer of Asheville and very active in the First Presbyterian 
Church there, she considers growing up in Hickory's First Presbyterian church 
the "most influential thing" in her life. "I was active in all phases of Sunday 
School and Youth Work and enjoyed it very much. I found so much meaning 
in it that I felt a call to be a Director of Christian Education." 

After college, she worked as D. C. E. at Lincolnton's First Presbyterian 
Church. Returning to Hickory to live after her marriage, she did a variety of 
work in this church. At the Asheville church, she has been an Interim D. C. E. 
and is currently assistant Superintendent of the Sunday School, a member of 
the Christian Education committee, Personal Faith and Family Life chairman 
for the Women of the Church, and a member of the Key 73 committee. 

The influence of Mr. Stair holds an important place in the Rev. William 
(Bill) Bason's memory of the time he spent in First Church as a young man. 
After some time in church work, Mr. Bason is now engaged in the field of 
family counseling at a New York hospital. Responding to a request for 
comments on his experiences in our church, he wrote, in part: 

"As a newcomer, I met some of my best friends there. In thinking back over those 
years, I know Fred Stair helped me more than anyone else in deciding to go back 
to college and on to the Seminary. Also, I remember enjoying a Young Adult class 
that met at the Manse on Sunday mornings. Martha (Mrs. Stair) had a pot of hot 
coffee and fresh doughnuts for us, and the discussion was always lively. More than 
anything else, it kept me in town at least 'til noon on Sundays." 

Miss Mary Ruth Marshall, daughter of Mrs. Agnes Marshall and niece of 
Misses Minnie and Mildred Bingham of our church, is now in Christian 
Education work in Victoria, Australia. Although most of her growing-up 
years were not in First Church, Hickory, she did attend during vacations and 
at other times. Her comments about her experiences here include these: 

"There are a number of people at First Presbyterian Church, Hickory, who have 
been instrumental in the directions my life as a Christian educator has followed. 
The First was my aunt Minnie and her Beginner's Sunday School Class. Helping 
there during vacations gave me my earliest understandings of what Christian 
education was all about, and the educational work of the church seemed 
signiFicant and important. . .Then there was Milton Bibee, who took a strong 
personal interest in my plans and was largely responsible for my First Christian 
education job. And Fred Stair, a warm supportive friend on a number of 


occasions when I had important decisions to make. Two people, my 8th grade 
teacher, Mrs. Edwards (Virginia Garth Edwards) and my grandfather Bingham, 
both of whom said to me, 'You can do anything you want to do.' But most of all, 
I had the example of my mother, the most dedicated teacher and the finest 
Christian I know." 

The ministry of Mr. Stair at this church ended August 23, 1959. He and 
his family went to Atlanta, Georgia, where he had accepted a call to Central 
Presbyterian Church. From his pastorate there, he was later called to become 
president of Union Theological Seminary, in Richmond, Virginia, his present 

Dr. George Staples, Davidson College chaplain, served our church in a 
supply capacity while another pastor was being sought to succeed the Rev. 
Mr. Stair. 


It was March, 1960, when the Rev. William W. Williamson, D. D. became 
the next minister of this church. Five months later he was joined by the Rev. 
Klell Napps, our first Minister of Education, who remained here several years. 

Work continued on programs already underway, including the Covenant 
Life Curriculum study and experimentation, and Family Life Conferences 
held in cooperation with several other local churches. Among the innovations 
during Dr. Williamson's pastorate were: organization of Westminister 
Fellowship for college-age students, including Presbyterians at Lenoir Rhyne 
College; and the church's "Maundy Thursday" pre-Easter Communion Service 
in Fellowship Hall. One year after Dr. Williamson began his work here, the 
church, for the first time in some years, gave as much to benevolences as to 
current expenses. This continued for several years. 

For some time efforts had been underway to secure a new manse. The 
50-year-old manse, although updated from time to time, was by now 
outmoded and in need of much repair. In late 1961 a house nearing 
completion at 825 Second Street Northwest was purchased for $42,500. 
When the Williamsons moved there in February, 1962, they became the first 
"manse" family to live more than a few steps from our Sanctuary since 1908. 

The latest purchase of property to expand the church's holdings in its 
downtown location was also made while Dr. Williamson was pastor. This was 
the Woman's Club lot, adjoining the church's western property line on Third 
Avenue Northwest. The price was $20,000. 

For two months, beginning in mid-April, 1963, Dr. and Mrs. Williamson 
were in Scotland where he studied. Dr. Daniel Rhodes of Davidson College 
supplied the pulpit during this period. In the early summer of that same year, 
Dr. Williamson served as co-chairman of the Catawba Valley Evangelistic 
Crusade held in the Lenoir Rhyne stadium by Dr. Leighton Ford, associate of 
Billy Graham. Dr. Graham himself participated in one service. 

First Presbyterian became the "mother" of a third Hickory -area 
Presbyterian Church when Northminster Church was organized on February 
2, 1964. Two years earlier our members in the northern section of Hickory 
had been surveyed, with a view to organizing another church to be 
constructed on a site purchased several years earlier by Concord Presbytery. 


Of Northminster's 64 charter members, 61 transferred from First Church to 
give the new church a firm beginning and leadership. This gave our church its 
first decline in membership, which had steadily increased to nearly 800 by 
the end of 1963. 

The Williamson's older son, William W. (Bill), Jr., now associate minister of 
Westover Hills Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, made his 
decision to become a minister while a member of our church: 

"Many factors were involved in that decision, but I am convinced that one 
important influence was the church to which I then belonged, one which 
contributed much in showing me what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. . 

"One thing that impressed me was the seriousness and respect I was accorded as a 
young person. I felt that I was truly a part of the church and allowed to have a 
part in determining the direction the church would go. As I have come now to see 
youth work from the perspective of an adult, I am convinced that this is one of 
the most important ideas that a church can give to a young person: a feeling of 
importance. The Hickory Church gave me that sort of feeling. 

"But more than that, there was the spirit of the people themselves in Hickory. 
Time and time again I was impressed with the sense of dedication which the 
church members showed. It was truly a source of inspiration to me." 

The other Williamson son, Charles (Chuck), is now associate minister of 
First Presbyterian Church in Goldsboro. After commenting on the fact that 
he still feels close to Hickory, the church, and his friends here, he wrote: 

"I would say that there is one area particularly in which the Hickory Church 
influenced me and pushed me along toward the ministry. During my junior and 
senior years in high school, I served on the Concord Presbytery Youth Council. 
Although I didn't realize it at the time, the relationships established while 
working with those other young people had a lasting influence on me. . .1 learned 
something about the Presbyterian system of government that I could never have 
learned otherwise. But more important, I learned something about my desire to 
work with people, and something about my style of working with others. These 
learnings came as a result of the support and interest of First Church and Concord 

Another "teen-ager" in the congregation during Dr. Williamson's pastorate 
who has since gone into church work was Nancy Lackey, now Mrs. Barry 
Farmer of Danville, Virginia. She majored in church music at St. Andrew's 
College and is a church organist. Thinking back on her years in our church, 
Nancy, daughter of Mrs. Richard Lackey, has written: 

"First Presbyterian Church played a vital part in my life as I was growing 
up-especially during my teen years. The two most important church activities 
were singing in the chancel choir and attending Youth Fellowship on Sunday 
nights. Robert Ellis directed the chancel choir while I was a member, and I 
received excellent vocal and musical training under his leadership. This was the 
only musical training I received before going to college, other than regular piano 
lessons. I feel that my Christian faith was strengthened and strong foundations for 
my later Christian development were laid by participating in the programs and 
discussions presented through the Youth Fellowship program. 


"When I began taking organ lessons in college, the church very graciously allowed 
me to practice when I came home for vacations. This meant a great deal to me 
because I was able to keep up my applied music assignments. . .1 am thankful that 
I was able to be an active part of this church for so many years." 

Dr. Williamson, after being our pastor for a little over four years, resigned 
in May, 1964, effective in June, to accept a call to Peachtree Presbyterian 
Church in Atlanta, Georgia. 


Our present pastor, the Rev. J. Whitner Kennedy, began his work of 
leadership and inspiration here in September, 1964. The past 
eight-and-one-half years have witnessed steady growth of membership, 
expansion of the church staff to meet our needs, updating of our facilities, 
and increasing activities and services within and beyond our church. 

At the end of 1964, our net membership was listed as 718. By the end of 
1972 it had reached 867. 

Steady growth has required more church staff. Soon after Mr. Kennedy 
began his ministry here, the church started, and has continued, having a 
Union Theological Seminary student spend a full-year here, working in many 
phases of the church's life. Earlier, seminary students came only for the 
summer months. 

Another staff addition is an assistant minister. Having a student minister 
and a director of Christian Education were steps leading to a vote by the 
Session in October, 1970, to secure an assistant minister. The Rev. Day 
Carper, former missionary to the Congo, was called in January, 1972, and 
moved here with his family in June. To provide housing for the assistant 
minister, the congregation acquired a third manse last spring. A residence, 
located at 559 Seventh Street Northwest, was purchased for $40,000. 

A bookkeeper-secretary was also added to the church staff in the past year 
to handle detailed work of the church's financial matters. Although the need 
for clerical help for the treasurer was noted much earlier, the position was not 
filled until after Hudson Meacham moved away from Hickory. His 15 years of 
service as treasurer, bookkeeper, deacon, elder, church school teacher, Scout 
Master, and member of important committees was commemorated by a 
resolution of appreciation prepared by the Session. This was read to Mr. 
Meacham during a Sunday church service. 

Updating of the church's facilities, beginning in 1965, has added 
convenience along with a great deal of beauty and comfort. Most 
improvements were covered by special pledges. 

In 1965 the second floor of the older educational building was upgraded at 
a cost of $8,500. In 1966 and 1967, the main floor, offices, and some 
classrooms in that building were air conditioned, and the newer educational 
building and Sanctuary were completely air conditioned. Also in 1967 anew 
organ was installed to replace the one that had served for nearly 60 years; and 

the Sanctuary received new lighting, redecoration, and improvements to the 
balcony. The cost of organ and Sanctuary work totaled $53,000. 

In 1967, the upstairs of the oldest manse was refurbished and furnished to 


provide living quarters for the student pastor. The young people themselves 
redecorated the downstairs area for their meetings and recreation and 
renamed the house "The Manster". 

In 1970 came the remodeling and beautification of the Fellowship Hall, 
including work on the kitchen and addition of first-floor rest rooms. The cost 
was $31,500. The most recent improvement to church property is the 
transformation of the former Woman's Club lot into a lighted parking and 
recreation facility. Last November the church leased this property to First 
National Bank. The Bank agreed to make all improvements, rent the parking 
spaces to their employees five days a week, and give the church exclusive use 
of the lot in the evenings and on weekends. The church will realize some 
revenue each year, and the five-year-lease may be terminated or extended, 
depending on the needs of the church. 

The church's program, activities, and services have been expanded in many 
directions during Mr. Kennedy's ministry. 

One innovation in the Sunday church service has been the "Service of 
Friendship," instituted in 1969. To assure a better welcome to visitors and 
wider friendship among the congregation, a "Friendship Booklet" is signed by 
all on each pew while the minister encourages "speaking to those around you 
after the service." All are also welcomed at the church doors each Sunday 
morning by elders, occasionally assisted by young people. 

A new Church School class, the "Swingers," was formed several years ago 
to provide fellowship among the young adults of the congregation, including 
prospective members. This class is open only to couples whose combined ages 
do not exceed 70. Monthly social gatherings are held, and the "Swingers" 
have service projects. For example, their concern to provide some help for 
young mothers of the community led to the beginning of our church's 
twice-weekly Day Nurseries for infants to three years, and to the spreading of 
this service to three other churches in order to provide the current 
five-mornings-a-week nurseries. 

Another new service at the church has been the "Mother's Day Out" 
extension classes, open to the community and offering subjects ranging from 
Bible study to bridge to cake-decorating. These classes are held in spring and 
fall in cooperation with the Catawba Valley Technical Institute; they have 
been coordinated by the Christian Community Action committee of the 
Women of the Church. There are nurseries for children of mothers attending. 

Another type of service is provided by the church's Memorial Education 
Scholarship Fund, begun soon after Mr. Kennedy came. This fund was started 
primarily from concern following the death of a dedicated elder and Sunday 
School worker, Milton Bibee. Memorial gifts supply funds to give needed 
financial help with higher education. 

In the years since their father's death, both Ellen and Jane Bibee have 
graduated from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, 
Virginia, and have served as Directors of Christian Education. For some years 
their mother, Mrs. Madeliene Bibee, has headed our weekday church 
kindergarten, and has assisted in the church office. Ellen Bibee, after doing D. 
C. E. work in Japan, is now in Australia, temporarily working for a university. 
Replying to a request for some "memories" of growing up in our church, she 

"My home church was the center of our family life. There was a meaningful 


relationship between church and home. I was always aware of the Faith, and that 
God was Lord of All." 

Jane Bibee, currently D. C. E. at Christ Congregational Church, Silver 
Spring, Maryland, feels that growing up in our church meant "growing up in 
an atmosphere of love and support." 

"So many experiences then influenced my total life style. A child usually learns 
what he discovers for himself. I discovered the love of Christ through love shown 
to me, and now I seek to pass it on. When I think of all the family night suppers, 
Sunday School teachers, ministers, camps, junior and senior high fellowship 
activities, it makes me realize how important our church life has been. I am 
constantly grateful for the continued love and concern we have for each other. 
This has created an atmosphere that encourages us to reach our full potentialities 
as persons. When I think in terms of who or what influenced my life the most, I 
think of the two members of First Presbyterian whom I love the most - my own 

In counting our church's "sons and daughters" going into full-time church 
work, we can also include the student minister who served here in 1971-72. 
Huw Christopher, a native of Wales, joined this church from the Welch 
Baptist Church in October, 1971 . In the spring of 1972, he was endorsed as a 
candidate for the Presbyterian ministry by the Session; and on May 1, 1972, 
he was accepted by Concord Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry. Two 
months later he was ordained, and was installed as pastor of the Presbyterian 
Church in Washington, North Carolina, where he now serves. 

Our church's full program for all ages results in extensive use of the 
buildings and surrounding property. Not only on Sunday but also all through 
the week, groups gather for meetings-the many choirs, the various Boy and 
Girl Scout troops, those interested in special Bible study, the Session, the 
Diaconate, the Women of the Church Board and membership, youth groups, 
the kindergarten, the nurseries, others. 

Furthermore, the church's convenient location in "The Heart of Hickory" 
makes it a popular meeting place for other groups. The Session and Board of 
Deacons have continually desired to share the facilities with any reputable 
group in Hickory. Those gathering at the church for regular or special 
get-togethers include: A. A., Alateens, Tops Clubs, Jaycettes, and Lenoir 
Rhyne College students. 

For the past several summers, a Day Camp for culturally -deprived children 
has been operated at the church by the Catawba County Social Services 
department. The church has provided not only the facilities but also some 
funds to help hire student workers. 

For some years this church has maintained a "Fellowship Fund" used for 
helping needy persons in the congregation and community, including 
transients. Special contributions to this fund are received at intervals during 
morning church services. 

In January, 1972, a Day Care Center for adults was begun on our 
Manster's first floor under the direction of the Catawba County Family 
Mental Health Services. The purpose is to provide a therapeutic environment 
for adults from the community for a variety of reasons. The Center offers 
personal support, group therapy, crafts, and activities. It is open five days a 


week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Our church provides the building, all utilities, 
financial help, and volunteer workers. 

First Presbyterian's "outreach" program, which gained so much 
momentum in the 1950's, has continued during Mr. Kennedy's pastorate with 
inter-church cooperation. 

He was chairman of the Hickory Ministerial Association's committee 
named to investigate employing a full-time chaplain at Catawba Memorial 
Hospital. Our church's support enabled the chaplaincy program to operate for 
a full-year without asking any help from other churches; and we have 
continued to pledge regularly to this service. 

This church took a large responsibility in the formation of the Greater 
Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry, and continues its support and work 
for that organization. Mr. Kennedy was the first president and has remained 
on the Board of Ministry, having been a member of the Ministerial 
Association committee that first pushed for the Cooperative Ministry. In its 
initial stages, the offices were at our church, and Mrs. Carter Sinclair of our 
congregation was one of two part-time workers. 

Prior to any public housing in Hickory, First Presbyterian sought to 
provide some low-income housing. When Hickory's public housing was 
achieved, this church, working through the Cooperative Ministry, gave money 
for new mattresses and other furniture items for those moving into 
apartments. Mrs. Willard Smart of this church, with cooperation from other 
groups, has been conducting a program of recreation and fellowship for the 
"Sunny Valley" senior citizens area of the public housing. 

Over the past several years, our Senior High young people have made a 
monthly visitation to Western Carolina Center at Morganton. This activity has 
now developed into a "Big Brother-Big Sister" program where willing 
members of the Senior High Fellowship are matched, one to one, with 
children selected from the education units at the Center. 

The women of our church have been so involved in outreach activities that 
a separate chapter of this history has been devoted to the contributions they 
have made in their century of service. 

Another interesting dimension in our church's growth is the progress we 
have made in sharing with our denomination's causes and institutions what 
God has so graciously given to us over the years. 

Early papers of our church include one that appealed to others in the 
Presbytery to help the struggling young Hickory church pay for its first 
building. In 1877 aid came in the form of $100 in pledges. In his 1949 
"Historical Sketch", Mr. Willard declared that this $100 investment had 
brought great returns to the Presbyterian church at large. He reported that, to 
that date, First Church had contributed some $191 ,000 to outside causes. 

Since that time, our church's gifts to benevolent causes, including church 
institutions, have so greatly increased that the total gifts to benevolences were 
$59,030 in 1972 alone. In the past five years this church has contributed 
$30,000 to Union Theological Seminary's advance program and $30,000 to 
St. Andrew's College. The latter was in addition to $45,000 given to St. 
Andrews when the new college was begun. These are typical of the support 
our church has provided through the years. 

********** ********** ********** 


This church enters its second century with a very full program of activities, 
worship, and/or service for all ages. 

The Church school carries on a full program requiring a staff of 53 
teachers and leaders. A nursery is operated during Church School and Church 
Service. There are three Youth Fellowship groups, with members from the 
seventh through twelfth grades. In addition, children and youth are busy with 
choirs and Girl and Boy Scout troops. Other important groups in the church 
include the Chancel Choir and the Ushers Guild. Membership on the 
Diaconate and Session is now 21 in each group; this includes one woman 
deacon and four women elders. 

Now, as all through our history, members of this church are also serving in 
positions of responsibility in Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly, as 
well as on the boards of our denomination's various institutions. 

As of February 1, 1973, First Church's membership roll included eight 
men and women who had been continuously affiliated for more than 60 
years: Miss Rosa Lee Dixon, Connolly Gamble, Sr., Mrs. Raymond Hefner, 
William W. McComb, Sr., Miss Millie Kate McComb, Mr. and Mrs. C. Voorhees 
Garth, and Donald S. Menzies. 

As of the same date, these had held membership continuously for more 
than 50 years: R. Harry McComb, Mrs. P. W. Troutman, David M. McComb, 
Sr., Mrs. S. C. Nowell, Mrs. Harry Burgess, Mrs. Zeb Brown, George Killian, 
Jr., Miss Mildred Bingham, Miss Minnie Bingham, Mrs. M. P. Lipe, Sr., Mrs. J. 
T. Lynn, Mrs. R. T. Hambrick, Sr., Hiram S. Balch, Mrs. Louise Lawrence, 
Mrs. J. J. Hefner, Mrs. Donald Shuford, Karl W. Broome, Mrs. Shuford 
Abernethy, Mrs. Connolly Gamble, Sr., Philip Menzies, Miss Louise 
Abernethy, Mrs. Richard Lackey, and Mrs. Henry Reichard. 

Dr. Ramsay's 50th anniversary History carried this comment which still 
applies 50 years later: 

"pastors, differing in their talents, all filled their places faithfully and were blessed 
of God in their labors for the upbuilding of His Kingdom in our midst. . .This 
history would not be complete without mention of the loyalty and devotion of 
the members of this church, men and women, whose self-sacrificing efforts have 
made possible the splendid progress of the church, and whose prayers and 
consecrated lives are our greatest heritage." 

So many have given so many years of dedicated service to this church that 
it is impossible to make special mention of all deserving such. Some 150 
different men have been ordained as Elders, and approximately the same 
number have served on the Diaconate in the past 100 years. 

There have been five women elders, beginning with the election of Mrs. 
Edward Craig in 1965. Our first woman deacon, Mrs. Charles Dixon, was 
elected in 1972. In 1966 Hiram Balch was honored for having been a ruling 
elder for 50 years. He was ordained in 1916 at a Presbyterian church in 
Tennessee, and was elected an elder in our church in 1924, four years after 

Many others have served long and faithfully as trustees, treasurers, choir 
members, choir directors, organists, Church School teachers and leaders, 
Scout leaders, Youth Fellowship advisers, and in many other positions 
requiring dedication and work. Younger members and newer members 
continue to move into positions of leadership and responsibility. 


In our Centennial year, our total property-sanctuary, two educational 
buildings, surrounding property, three manses-is valued at $825,000. 

The three other Hickory-area Presbyterian churches spawned by First 
Presbyterian are also thriving. None now receives any financial help from 
First Church. Belk Memorial Church, with the Rev. George Hunter as pastor, 
reported 143 active members at the end of 1972. Mr. Hunter pinpointed the 
church's major effort at present as being "toward the youth of the 

community." Sweetwater Church now has 105 active members and is proud 
of being self-supporting. The Rev. Bobby Combs is pastor. One major 
program is the operation of a Day Care Center, with 40 children enrolled. At 
Northminster Church, 223 members were reported at the end of 1972. The 
Rev. John Wilkerson, pastor, said the church is beginning to stress a program 
of meeting family needs, with the creation and planned expansion of a Child 
Development Center at the church. 

The memberships of these three churches combined with our church's 867 
members make a total of 1,338 Presbyterians on the rolls of the four Greater 
Hickory churches as of January 1, 1973. 

This is where we are as we end our first century and stand on the threshold 
of our second century. The challenge of the accomplishments of the past 
gives us impetus to press forward with increased zeal as we and those who 
follow us "write" with our lives, our service, and our substance a continuing 
history of progress for the First Presbyterian Church of Hickory, North 



If ten cents a month sounds like insignificant giving, and if buying a 
spittoon for the church seems startling, then project yourself back in time to 
our church's early days when the women began to fill important needs with 
their time, talents, and money. Let's look at the integral part the women of 
this church have taken through the years in the church's program. 

About 1887, when First Presbyterian was just 14 years old, the "Earnest 
Workers" group was organized. These women were truly "earnest workers", 
as they labored to provide funds for many church needs. Four years later, 


on September 21, 1891, the Women's Missionary Society was begun for the 
purpose of studying and supporting Home and Foreign missions. A review of 
early "minutes" reveals that both groups had essentially the same 

Women active in the Missionary Society and/or Earnest Workers included 
these gathered on the lawn of the H. E. McComb residence. From left to right 
they were: Miss Essie Seagle, Miss Amelia McComb, Mrs. H. M. Doll, Mrs. Bettie 
C. Holden, Mrs. Louise K. Auld, and Miss Lois Seagle, who was the church 
organist for some years. 

The Earnest Workers usually met weekly. As they quilted or sewed, they 
planned money-making projects and how to spend their hard-earned funds. 
The Missionary Society met monthly, studying home missions one month and 
foreign missions the next. Each group set dues at ten cents per member per 
month. However, the organizational minutes of the Society state: "in case 
any should not be able to give so much, that such one may give as God 
prospers." In contrast, the Earnest workers did not hesitate to remind 
members of past-due obligations and even made personal visits to collect 
delinquent fees. 

The Earnest Workers' meetings must have been very enjoyable gatherings, 
as they, like the Missionary Society, met alphabetically at members' homes or 
at the Manse. Occasionally their minutes refer to their organization as "The 
Jolly Workers." On December 6, 1892, Mrs. Carrie Gamble, secretary, 
(mother of Connolly Gamble) recorded: "While the discussion was at white 
heat (about an upcoming event), the president quieted us and in such a way 
that none took offense. 


Money -raising projects of the Earnest Workers during the 1890's included: 
making and selling aprons for as little as 20 cents each; sponsoring a 
"concert" in the town Opera House, with the result that $18.15 was cleared 
from the $43.65 taken in; holding an ice cream party (netted $32.70) and 
several oyster supper "sociables" (netting $15.00 and $17.50); making and 
selling quilts (at $2.00 each). On February 20, 1894, the secretary recorded: 
"Mrs. Dixon (mother of Miss Rosa Lee) had a plan to suggest to the Society, 
that each member plant ten cents worth of potatoes, and in the fall, put all 
together, sell, and give money to Society. All thought it a good idea." A 
check of the books shows that the potato sale brought in several dollars. 

At the January 30, 1894 meeting, "Mrs. Clark told of gingham we could 
get at Shuford and Setzer's Store at small figures. The Secretary was notified 
to see about the same." At the next meeting, the secretary reported her 
investigation, and recorded: "The Society voted to purchase, and Mrs. Dixon 
and Mrs. Gamble went down the street and got it. The gingham was cut into 
aprons and sewed." The "low price" of the gingham was not recorded, but 
among receipts found in the old "minute book" was one certifying payment 
of 41 cents to Bowles and Doll Company for six yards of calico and two 
spools of thread. During the "financial panic" of 1894, the women also felt 
the pinch. Mrs. Gamble wrote in April: "Mrs. Hamilton's dress finished. She 
was much pleased at the making, and the Society better pleased at receiving 
one dollar, as our dollars are coming in very slow and the year passing away 

The many projects for which the Earnest Workers spent their money, in 
addition to saving toward and largely paying for the first manse, included 
these in 1893: "pitcher, glass, and spittoon" for the church, 55 cents; "cow 
stable" for the preacher's cow, $14.00; repairs to the church; helping to pay 
Dr. Ramsay's salary; and sending "a box to the orphans." 

In contrast to the Earnest Workers, the Missionary Society had serious 
programs and no projects. Programs were given alternately on Home missions 
and Foreign missions by various members and the pastor. The minutes show 
that each time the "fees" had accumulated to about $1 1.00, the money was 
sent to Concord Presbytery for equal division between the two types of 

The Missionary Society endeavored to get other church members to 
subscribe to a publication entitled, "The Missionary". Articles from this 
paper were used at their meetings. Once the secretary recorded about these 
articles: they "were to the edification of all present in that they tended to 
stirring up more of the missionary spirit." 

These two early women's groups in our church-Missionary Society and 
Earnest Workers-laid the foundation for the study, service, gifts, and 
outreach that were to form the program for the future "Ladies Auxiliary", 
which, in 1949, became the "Women of the Church." 

A sketch prepared by Miss Amelia McComb, then Ladies Auxiliary 
historian, for our church's 50th Anniversary History details some of the 
progress of our women's organization: 

"This society was one of the first in Concord Presbytery to ask that a Union (of 
all Auxiliaries in the Presbytery) be formed. Presbytery granted the request, and 
the Hickory society had a delegate present at the organization of the Union May 


8, 1906. The Union's fourth meeting was held in the Hickory church April 5-7, 
1910. In 1918, the name was changed from Union to Presbyterial. 

"September, 1916. the Ladies Auxiliary was divided into circles. At that time 
there were 42 names on the roll. At the present (March, 1923), there are 75 
names enrolled. There are five circles, a Young Woman's circle having been added 
last year." 

Mrs. W. B. Ramsay, who then belonged to our church, was Presbyterial 
president from 1910 to 1914 and Synodical president from 1915 to 1920. 
Mrs. E. C. Yoder was Presbyterial president from 1925 to 1928, and Mrs. 
LeRoy Campbell was Presbyterial president from 1953 to 1955. 

Through the years the work of our women has expanded in many 
directions. Contributions and services to our own church have included these: 
S2,000 toward the cost of the first education building; $100 for repairs to the 
front of the church; Si 00 annually for church kitchen; funds and work for 
overhauling church kitchen in 1938-40; providing some furnishings for 
Fellowship Hall; redecorating the church parlor (now choir rehearsal room) in 
1949; serving suppers to the men, youth, family nights, other church groups; 
remembering the "shut-ins"; placing flowers in the Sanctuary on Sundays; 
starting the nurseries held during church services; aiding fellowship by 
sponsoring bridge-luncheons, workshops, etc. 

Other church-related projects have included: financial help for a 
prospective home missionary and for a local youth worker; financial aid, 
many items, and services to Sweetwater and Belk memorial churches; 
clothing, supplies, and money to Church World Service, White Cross, and to 
our various mission fields; financial aid and services to the former local 
Presbyterian church in Ridgeview section, St. James; aid to Barium Springs 

Community and area projects have also been far reaching, such as: 
contributions to school milk funds and clothing closets; aid to Ridgeview 
library; Red Cross Work during both World Wars; aid to local polio hospital in 
1946; Broughton Hospital visitation and parties; providing funds for Western 
Carolina School children to attend Camp Grier; aid to Catawba County 
Juvenile Receiving Home; aid to Crossnore school; helping to prepare the 
oldest manse's first floor for the new Adult Day Care Center, and continuing 
to provide some help for the Center, operated by the Catawba County Mental 
Health Center. 

For many years the W. O. C. was responsible for the whole Joy Gift service 
at Christmas. The church's Missions Season has always given great 
responsibility to the women. Through the years our women have given 
thousands of dollars to their annual Birthday Offering. Now in its 50th year, 
the Birthday Offering in our whole denomination has totalled more than $7.6 
million, used to launch some 60 institutions, programs, and buildings in areas 
of need in the United States and many foreign countries where our church 
has missions. Mrs. LeRoy Campbell and Mrs. Carl Wolfe of this church have 
been among the groups of women from our denomination visiting the various 
mission fields and Birthday objectives from time to time. 

This year our women are divided into 13 Circles, and there are 23 
members on the Executive Board, headed by Mrs. Dan Espey as president. 


The budget is set at $2,769.24, the greater part of which is for benevolences. 
In addition, our women give many hundreds of additional dollars annually for 
specific Circle projects. As our current minister has expressed it: "Our women 
undergird the total program of the church." 

Past-presidents, starting with the W. 0. C's first annual history in 1927-28, 
have been: 

Mrs. A. C. Kelly, Mrs. Ralph Abernethy, Mrs. George Killian, Mrs. Paul 
Bumgarger, Sr., Mrs. George Hall, Sr., Mrs. W. H. Vander Linden, Sr., Mrs. A. C. 
Henderson, Sr., Mrs. R. T. Hambrick, Sr., Mrs. C. V. Garth, Mrs. C. C. Gamble, 
Sr., Mrs. Louis Whitener, Mrs. LeRoy Campbell, Mrs. Carl Wolfe, Mrs. F. G. 
Harper, Jr., Mrs. C. A. Poole, Mrs. Edward Craig, Mrs. David Bissette, Mrs. John 
Grier, Mrs. Edmond Smith, Jr., Mrs. Thomas Fitz, Mrs. James Peed, Mrs. W. N. 
Cowan, Mrs. T. W. Jameson. 

No report of organizations of First Presbyterian women would be 
complete without a brief mention of the Ola Warner Class, which meets 
Sunday mornings for Bible study and once monthly with different members 
for programs and rolling of bandages for Korean hospitals. This class was 
originally the Philathea Class, whose earliest minutes are dated October, 
1917. The enrollment was then 34, including Miss Millie Kate McComb who 
has belonged continuously for the past 55 years. Mrs. W. B. Ramsay was the 
first teacher. For many years the class was taught by George W. Hall. In 1935 
it was the "Young Woman's Class" with Mrs. J. J. Willard as teacher and Miss 
Ola Warner as president. In May, 1936, one month after the sudden death of 
the president, the class was renamed "Ola Warner" Class. 



That is how it has been in our past-and how it is now, as we come to our 
100th anniversary. But where do we go from here? 

The Session is deeply concerned that we begin our new century with 
purpose and direction similar to that evidenced in the beginning of the first 
century of our Church's life, and that the whole congregation should be 
involved in the planning process. Consequently forty persons are being 
trained to lead small groups in the sharing of ideas and concerns about the 
mission of our Church in the first three to five years of our second century. 
Twenty small groups, in which every communicant member will be invited to 
share, will meet twice between March 18, our Anniversary, and April 22, 
which is Easter, 1973. The first small group sessions will be to share any and 
all ideas and concerns about the direction in which our Church should move. 
The second sessions will look at all the ideas and suggestions which come 
from all 20 small group meetings, and will express feelings of priorities in 
terms of the next three to five years. In this way it is hoped that all of the 
congregation will feel directly involved in determining the program of the 
Church during the first three to five years of our second century. 

The possibilities before our Church for witness and service in our second 
century are limited only by the extent to which we commit ourselves to the 
work of Christ. Almost every conceivable talent and ability is present in an 
amazing way in the current membership of our Church. God has blessed us in 
amazing ways. It behooves us, as we look toward our second century to 
remember the words of our Lord: "Every one to whom much is given, of him 
will much be required." 

(Luke 12:48) 



1873 (March 18) 
















Organized as "Gibb's Mission", with Rev. G. M. Gibbs as pastor. 

- Name changed to "Hickory", and first church building 

- Rev. G. A. Thurston, pastor. 

- Rev. C. A. Munroe, pastor. 

- Rev. J. A. Ramsay, D. D., pastor. 

- Woman's Missionary Society organized. 

- First manse purchased. 

- Rev. W. T. Matthews, pastor. 

Lot purchased for erection of new church. 

- Rev. C. W. Trawick, pastor. 

- Present sanctuary building completed. 

- Rev. J. G. Garth, pastor 

First manse sold, second manse erected next to church. 

- First pipe organ installed. 

- Rev. Edward M. Craig, D. D., pastor. 

- Rev. John R. Hay, D. D., pastor. 

- First educational building erected. 

- First Director of Christian Education came. 

- Sweetwater and Belk Memorial Churches organized. 

- Rotation plan adopted for Ruling Elders and Deacons. 

- Sanctuary completely remodeled. 

- Nowell property south of church purchased. 

- Rev. Fred R. Stair, Jr., pastor. 

- Church library begun. 

- M. V. Yount property, adjacent to Nowell lots, purchased. 
Church began providing half the support of a missionary couple. 

- Ballew property west of church purchased. 

Second educational building erected, Fellowship Hall remodeled 
with kitchen wing added. 

- Church became one of 5 selected from 4,000 for study of 

and experimentation with proposed Covenant Life Curricu- 
lum, continuing this for three years. 

- Rev. W. W. Williamson, D. D., pastor 

- Library dedicated as memorial to Elizabeth Williams Hollar. 

- New manse purchased at 825 Second Street, Northwest. 

- Woman's Club property, west of Ballew lot, purchased. 
Northminster Church organized, with 61 of the charter 

members coming from congregation of First Church. 

- Rev. J. Whitner Kennedy, pastor. 

- Memorial Educational Fund started. 
First woman elder elected. 

- Sanctuary building, new educational building, portions of 

first educational building air-conditioned. 


New organ installed, sanctuary improved. 
1967 - Upstairs of oldest manse refurbished for first full-year student 

intern minister; downstairs became Youth Center. 
1970 - Fellowship Hall remodeled. 

1972 - Assistant Minister, Rev. Day Carper, secured. 

Manse for assistant minister purchased at 559 Seventh Street, 

First woman deacon elected. 

Lease agreement signed with First National Bank to convert 
former Woman's Club lot into lighted parking and 
recreation facility. 



R. S. Johnston, J. G. Hall, Dr. W. B. Ramsay, John E. Haithcock, George W. Hall, E. B. 
Cline, K. C. Menzies, Hugh P. Williams, P. W. Bumbarger, Sr., D. S. Menzies, C. V. Garth, 
A. H. Burgess. 


J. B. Hussey, J. G. Hall, H. C. Hamilton, H. C. Dixon, Dr. W. B. Ramsay, J. J. Willaid, P. 
W. Bumbarger, Sr., Jack Spainhour, John R. Hay, Jr., C. M. Chumley, Jr., E. P. Tuttle, 
Guy Gregg, Gordon Thomasson. 


N. M. Seagle, H. E. McComb, G. W. Hall, E. B. Cline, W. A. Hall, W. B. Menzies, J. J. 
Willard, Hubert Ramseur, R. L. Hefner, E. L. Ennis, W. E. Gosnold, W. W. McComb, 
John A. Springs, E. P. Tuttle, Mrs. E. P. Tuttle, Hudson Meacham, Robert Meuser 


Names mentioned in the minutes were: J. G. Hall, J. E. Haithcock, H. M. Doll, Dr. W. B. 
Ramsay, George W. Hall, R. J. Reveley, C. V. Garth, C. W. Irwin, J. L. Henderson, H. S. 
Balch, M. R. Steelman, Harry Burgess, G. Don Hammersla, Guy Gregg, Robert 
Bumbarger, Vernon Rubel, Dr. David Frye, O. K. Whittington, P. L. Lackey. 


Dr. Mattie Ingold Tate to Korea; Rev. J. W. Hassell to Japan; Mrs. Louise Dixon Crane to 
Africa; Miss Ruby Satterfield to China; Rev. Henry Crane to Africa. Rev. Glenn Yount, 
Th.D-H.R.; Rev. Bonnar Knox; Miss Grace Henderson; Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Ramseur; 
Rev. Sidney Crane; Rev. Connolly Gamble, D. D.; Rev. Edward C. Hay, D. D.; John R. 
Hay, Jr.; Rev. William Bason; Mrs. Sidney (Betty) Frazer; Rev. W. W. Williamson, Jr.; 
Rev. Charles Williamson; Miss Ellen Bibee; Miss Jane Bibee; Mrs. Barry (Nancy) Farmer; 
Rev. Huw Christopher. 


Miss Kathleen Scott, Miss Nancy McNeely, Miss Malissa Christie, Miss Ann Heckemeyer, 
Rev. Klell Napps-Minister of Education, Miss Judith Loveless, Miss Margaret Ann 
McGeachy, Miss Carolyn Ledford. 


Summer Assistants: Robert Crumby, Robert Watkin, Miss Caroline Goodman, Newton 
Todd, James Keller, Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson, Charles Speight, Russ Ward. 
Full-year Interns: Dean Thompson, John Kaufman, Robert C. Hill, Judson Milam, Huw 
Christopher, Gerald Hurst. 

























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Mr. Guy Gregg, Chairman 


Program Dr. James Whaley, chairman; 

Connolly Gamble, Sr.; Sam Brock; Mrs. Charles 
Robinson; Mrs. Doris Sigmon. 

Invitations Miss Mildred Bingham, chairman; 

Miss Minnie Bingham; Mrs. Ramsay Abernethy; Mrs. 
W. N. Cowan; Mrs. R. H. McComb. 

Memorial Mrs. R. T. Hambrick, chairman; 

W. R. Ballew; Mrs. Charles Dixon; Dr. Shuford 


Historical Mrs. Edmond Smith, Jr., chairman; 

Centennial Historians: Mrs. Edmond Smith, Jr.; Mr. Gerald Hurst; the Reverend J. 
Whitner Kennedy. 

Museum: Mrs. Connolly Gamble, Sr.; Mrs. Wade Stemple; Mrs. Shuford 
Throneburg; Mrs. Gordon Thomasson. 

Youth Production: Mrs. Harry Snyder, Jr.; Mr. Gerald Hurst; Mr. Mark Hoffman; 
Miss Sara Wells; Miss Mary Davis Dailey; Mr. Thomas 
Whittington; Mr. William Dixon. 

Publicity Mr. and Mrs. James Lynch. 

Open House and Fellowship Hour "Swingers" Sunday School Class 

Birthday Party/Reception Women of the Church. 


MR. J. WHITNER KENNEDY, 825 2nd St., N. W Minister 

MR. DAY CARPER, 559 7th St., N. W Assistant Minister 

MR. GERALD B. HURST, 237 2nd St., N. W Student Minister 

MR. & MRS. C. BETTS HUNTLEY Korea Missionaries 

MRS. MILTON O. BIBEE, 1234 11th St., N. W Weekday Kindergarten 

MISS BRENDA SMITH, 415 West "C" St., Newton, N. C Organist 

MR. RICHARD P. THOMPSON, 424 10th St. PI., N. W Choir Director 

MR. ROBERT H. MEUSER, 850 2nd St., N. W Treasurer 

MRS. RAYMOND M. BOST, 740 4th St., N. E Bookkeeper 

MRS. D. W. HOFFMAN, 660 6th St., N. W Secretary 

MRS. R. E. MOSBY, 546 6th St., N. W Hostess 

MRS. DORIS COLEMAN, 411 1st St., S. E Maid 

MR. E. J. THOMPSON, 838 2nd St., S. W Sexton 


1973: Mrs. David Bissette, Mr. C. V. Garth, Mr. J. L. Houston, Jr., Mr. P. L. Lackey, Mr. C. A. Poole, 

Mr. Gordon W. Thomason. 
1974: Mr. Hiram S. Balch, Mrs. Milton O. Bibee, Mr. James H. Bowman, Mr. George W. Brown, Jr., 

Mr. A. Harry Burgess, Mrs. William N. Cowan, Mr. Charles D. Dixon. 
1975: Mr. T. Scott Bain, Mrs. R. LeRoy Campbell, Mr. F. Gwyn Harper, Jr., Mr. James M. Lynch, Jr., 

Mr. Al H. Stuckey, Mr. P. C. Underdown, Jr., Mr. Kenneth H. Bishop. 

1973: Mr. Richard C. Brennecke, Mrs. Charles D. Dixon, Mr. A. C. Henderson, Jr., Mr. Donald C. 

Johnston, Mr. Thomas C. Lavender, Mr. Vernon Rubel. 
1974: Mr. P. Severn Allen, Mr. John R. Goodwin, Mr. Rufus B. Hall, Dr. William R. Harris, Mr. Robert 

H. Meuser, Mr. Willard F. Smart, Sr., Mr. Karl G. Thomason. 
1975: Mr. W. Ramsay Abernethy, Mr. William R. Ballew, Mr. Robert L. Campbell, Jr., Mr. Robert T. 

Hambrick L Jr., Mr. William P. Pitts, Mr. Wilfred A. Wells, Mr. Rodney H. Whitley. 

Mr. C. V. Garth Mr. A. H. Burgess Mr. Donald S. Menzies 

I Mr. P. L. Lackey, Superintendent Mr. William Ballew, Sec. Mr. Roy E. Simpson, Asst. Superintendent 

Pre-School Division Mrs. Milton O. Bibee Elementary Division Mrs. Ronald Achor 

Youth Division Mr. John R. Goodwin Adult Division Thomas W. Jameson 


President Mrs. Dan Espey Chm. Circle No. 6 Mrs. James C. Tolleson 

Vice-President Mrs. Norman Neagle Chm. Circle No. 7 .... Mrs. Stephen L. Lovekin 

Secretary Mrs. William N. Cowan Chm. Circle No. 8 Mrs. Henry S. Belk 

Treasurer Mrs. Robert Spurrier Chm. Circle No. 9 Mrs. Larry W. Cates 

Chm. Circle No. 1 Mrs. Harry Snyder, Sr. Chm. Circle No. 10 Mrs. Warner T. Smith 

Chm. Circle No. 2 Mrs. Robert Brantley Chm. Circle No. 11 ... .Mrs. Kenneth H. Bishop 

Chm. Circle No. 3 Mrs. R. H. McComb Chm. Circle No. 12 . .Mrs. Ralph M. Hungerpillar 

Chm. Circle No. 4 Mrs. Albert N. Spencer Chm. Circle No. 13 Mrs. Fred Moon 

Chm. Circle No. 5 Mrs. A. L. Simpson 


7th Grade Fellowship Mr. & Mrs. Brad Peters 

Mr. & Mrs. Rodney Whitley 

8th & 9th Grade Fellowship Mr. & Mrs. Fred Moon, Mrs. Jim Peed 

Senior High Fellowship Mr. & Mrs. Robert Gayle, Mr. and Mrs. Boyd Spurrier 


Brownie Scouts Mrs. Charles Craft, Mrs. William Hamilton, Mrs. Ed Hendrix 

Junior Girl Scouts Mrs. Thomas Lavender, Mrs. John Goodwin, Mrs. Fred Larkin 

Cub Scout Pack 231 : Den Mothers: Mrs. Hope Councill, Mrs. Shirley Ballew, Mrs. Jean Gwyn 

Cubmaster Mr John Goodwin 

Chairman of Pack Committee j ack MacMillan 

Webelos: Dr. William Brooks, Vernon Flowers, Robert L. Campbell, Jr., Robert Fullwood 

Boy Scout Troop 231 Scoutmaster, Marvin Williams 

Chairman of Troop Committee Dr. David G. Frye, Jr. 

Institutional Representative Mr. Brooks L. Todd 

President: Mrs. C. A. Yount Sec.-Treas: C. A. Yount Librarian: Miss Nancy Brown 

President: J. Henry Hill. Jr. Vice-President: Karl G. Thomason 


Div.S. 285.1756785 S646 C397 1973 



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